Local middle school students explore capacities of Artificial Intelligence to solve large scale challenges

Engagement in the classroom is a great way for students to learn by bringing problems and solutions to life.

UVic Science Venture and Arbutus Global Middle School recently hosted a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) themed workshop for a Grade 7 class. The workshop supported what the class was learning around impacts of plastics in the environment, through hands on learning about technologies that can make a difference when solving large scale problems.


During the workshop, students worked in teams to make prototype designs to clean pollution in the ocean. Using Spheros, a robot device controlled by an iPad, students created plastic collecting boats that were driven on maps of the world, cleaning up bits of plastic from oceans. 

Following the interactive exercise, students learned about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it could be used on a large scale (e.g. autonomous boats) to automate the process of cleaning our oceans. By training an AI bot what belongs in the ocean and what doesn't’t, it will learn to perform those tasks and distinguish objects on its own.

This workshop was a part of the Women Leading Change Series presented by UVic and Government House. These series aims to raise awareness around gender inequality and support positive action through dialogue and engagement.

To learn more about hands-on, minds-on science, technology, engineering and math learning opportunities for youth visit Science Venture.  

WLC Workshop
Science Venture Co-op Students: Trishna Bindu and Kyra Tuggle, Her Honour, The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Co-op Student Anika Leist, UVic Government and Community Relations, Melisa Yestrau, Director of Science Venture, and Megan Peddie, Arbutus Middle School Teacher